Sixth Street properties face refurbishment

By Thomas Wilson

STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   Two properties damaged by the 1998 flood are expected to become open public space after the Elizabethton City Council awarded demolition projects on the properties to an Elizabethton construction firm.
   The Council voted 6-0 with Diane Morris absent at last week's meeting to award two bids to the Keith Hughes Construction company of Elizabethton to demolish one house and an apartment building in the 800 block of Sixth Street near Civitan Park.
   "It will be strictly open space under the hazard mitigation program, unless it is for public use, and then it can impede the flood curtain area," said David Ornduff, director of Planning and Development.
   Hughes submitted a bid of $10,500 to demolish the structure located at 802 Sixth Street and a bid of $4,500 to demolish the property at 812 Sixth Street. Those bids came in under the project's other bidding company, E. Luke Greene of Strawberry Plains.
   Ornduff said the city was preparing a work contract with the company for the demolition projects. A start date for the demolition had not been set, he said.
   The bid contract includes building demolition, site grading and removal of debris. The bid proposal requires the completion of the project within 60 days of the starting date.
   The properties were two of several tracts designated for acquisition under the Hazard Mitigation Grant funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following the county flood in January 1998. There were approximately 15 properties scheduled under the Hazardous Mitigation Act, Ornduff said.
   Both properties lay in a flood plain and have been vacant since the city purchased them from the owners over two years ago.
   "Some might not be acquired because the owner may not choose to accept our offer," Ornduff said. "It is a voluntary sale for the property owner."